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Love is blocked in ‘The Great Gatsby’ by many obstacles in which is prominently due to the overbearing power of power and status, where even true love isn’t able to be made. Gatsby and Tom are two powerful, wealthy individuals whom chase Daisy, yet it can be questioned that she is just viewed as a possession in the 19th century, in order to rise their status further. Yet, poets such as Rossetti and Donne stand up to the female suffrage, in order to break the cyclical power of patriarchy.
Tom believes strongly that in his ‘blood’, he is an ‘inherited old sport’ who seems to defend Daisy from Gatsby, in which he demonstrates this through his status and impact over him. Tom allows Daisy to visit Gatsby as he has the power to control and command her. Thus when Gatsby invites Daisy and Nick into his house, he can show off his possessions in which she has ‘a man in England’ who wears ‘such beautiful shirts’. The gap between Gatsby and Daisy, is the reason for his desire to be wealthy and successful, has suddenly closed and he needs to seize the opportunity offered by this moment to persuade her of his love. The reference to English tailoring shows reverence for Old World values persisting in the New World. Yet Gatsby’s ritual of display also fits into the modern practice of persuasive advertising. This is a good example of the scenic method which Fitzgerald uses so effectively in this novel. It brings Gatsby and Daisy together in a self-contained set-piece, yet its meaning reverberates far beyond the action we witness. The brightly colored shirts fit into the novel’s careful patterning of images relating to clothing and colour. Despite Gatsby’s efforts to conform to the standards of the Old World, Fitzgerald makes it clear that it isn’t possible for change, in which he could be hinting that the American Dream doesn’t work – it is just a myth that will leave characters broken. America rejected the notion of fixed social classes, which were seen as barriers to individualism. Jay has prospered through individualistic initiative, although he seems to have had to behave illegally in the process. Wealthy Americans, as depicted in The Great Gatsby, cling to the class distinctions, exclusiveness and privilege of old European societies. Similarly, in the poem ‘To his Coy Mistress’, love is lostwith the combination of death imagery, as well as including a light-hearted view is itself indicative of metaphysical poetry, but perhaps can also be viewed as a carpe diem poetry as the young man try’s to approach a young lady at a party, and fails to do so.
An informal party takes place in an apartment Tom keeps for his affair relationship with Myrtle Wilson in which she keeps yelling ‘Daisy! Daisy! Daisy!’, which leads to her nose being broken. This episode confirms Tom’s brutal, cynical and misogynistic nature, which exists in stark contrast to Gatsby’s romantically idealized vision of Daisy, in which the theme of inequality between surface underlying corruption. This can be linked to the 19th century, as inequality was displayed between the different gender roles, in which women received the right to vote in the 1920. Thus, some of the female characters in the Great Gatsby chase love through the ages by standing up for themselves, as Daisy ‘loved him too’, and went against the stereotypical role of a women. Whereas, Myrtle got abused and that leads to her nose being broken, in which her love is barricaded as she has no power, living in the ‘valley of ashes’. In the movie adaptation, this was seen as Gatsby and Daisy argue against Tom, in which Tom is seen to be on the floor laying down, whereas they tower over him. The director transcends the power of Daisy, in which could be referenced due to the females being allowed to vote – they were given independence. Myrtle’s broken nose recalls Daisy’s knuckle, bruised by Tom, in the preceding chapter, and anticipates Myrtle’s violent death in Chapter 7. The incident seems all the more shocking because Nick reports it in a flat, matter-of-fact, even understated way, avoiding melodramatic language. The names Daisy and Myrtle carry clearly contrasting associations of plant names, i.e. Daisy: pretty; Myrtle: bitter. This can be linked to ‘Sonnet 116’ as marriage is the meeting of ‘true minds’, where true love should overcome any obstacle which is ‘an ever fixed marke’ that is permanent and can’t be removed. Shakespeare demonstrates that without true love, you can not have a successful, content relationship; in which seems to be true in the complex drama in the Great Gatsby.
Desire is blocked due to the paradox and opposing natures of the Old World and the New World; in which they can’t coexist with one another. In a New York restaurant Gatsby introduces his neighbour Nick to his friend Meyer Wolfshiem. It can be seen that ‘Suddenly he looked at his watch’, where he feels that Gatsby is a very nice man, who you would want ‘your mother and sister to meet’. Gatsby often appears solitary but here Nick meets one of his friends. It is soon confirmed that Wolfshiem is a major criminal, but here we see his respect and admiration for Gatsby. Wolfshiem is Jewish and that contributes to our understanding that New York is a racially and culturally mixed city. He is impressed by Gatsby’s Oxford education and that is one amongst many instances of deferential attachment in the New World to Old World institutions. Wolfshiem understands why Gatsby needs to attend to a phone call and we come to recognise via Nick that despite his handsome and clean-cut appearance Gatsby is, as has been widely rumoured earlier in the narrative, intimately associated with organised crime. It is a moment of truth breaking through the facade. Wolfshiem’s sentimental dialogue seems at odds with what we suspect of his character. Direct speech is used with great subtlety in this novel. His pronunciation ‘Oggsford’ is a small linguistic marker of cultural difference.
To conclude, love is seen in many different forms which are either exposed or revealed, in which chasing love leads to most of the characters hamartia. Love is seen to destroy the characters gradually throughout the book, in which leads to the death of Gatsby, Myrtle and George. Those who survive still remain unhappy in their relationships, questioning whether the American dream is possible, and whether female independence has been resolved.